Health Studies

Health Studies

Faculty of Health

Health care is undergoing fundamental change from solely treating acute illness to focusing on a person’s whole needs for wellness—where physical health, mental health and social supports are explored—involving a team of health care professionals, including doctors, nurses, social workers, mental health specialists and others. In this new model, health managers, information specialists and policy experts are fundamentally important to leading the change and York’s Health Studies program prepares students for careers in these dynamic fields.

Are you interested in health but are not sure you want to be a doctor or a nurse? Did you know that non-clinical health professions are among the fastest growing occupations in Canada? Did you know that doctors and nurses rely upon health managers, information specialists and policy experts to ensure that our health care system serves our needs and is sustainable? That’s because health managers oversee systems to ensure the quality of care and services for patients, information specialists provide and analyze data that hospital executives rely upon to make decisions, and policy specialists advise governments on the best ways to meet patient and broader societal needs today and in the future.

Non-clinical careers available to graduates with a Bachelor of Health Studies (includes those in the Specialized Honours Health Informatics, Health Management, and Health Policy, or the Honours in Health Studies) include health manager, health policy researcher/analyst, health data/information specialist in many sectors including hospitals, government, industry, universities, non-government agencies, and the non-profit sector. The Toronto Star lists health policy research and consulting, business management, and information analysts and consultants, as among Toronto's Top Jobs.

Our program emphasizes an approach to health that focuses on broader societal issues. As such, it would build upon students' already acquired knowledge of the basic sciences of biology, chemistry and physics, but such a foundation is not necessary or required to master the material provided in our courses.

Health Management

Bachelor of Health Studies (BHS)

Specialized Honours

With a growing population and demand for more health services, one of the fastest growing professions is that of health care manager. In the health management program, students learn about the health system from an organizational perspective through courses that cover health management, leadership and decision-making, measuring health system performance, health finance, and integrated health systems.

Health Informatics

Bachelor of Health Studies (BHS)

Specialized Honours

Computers, networks, mobile technology and apps are rapidly changing health and health care – everything from how we communicate with our health care providers, to how we get information, to how health care professionals collect, share and use electronic information that directly affects our health. Students learn how to analyze and evaluate information crucial to health care decision-making.

Health Policy 

Bachelor of Health Studies (BHS)

Specialized Honours

Political, economic, cultural, and environmental considerations all factor into how health care decisions are made. In this program, students explore health care decision-making and the role of both government and non-government organizations. Important issues are covered, including the public/private mix in health care, integrated health systems, international health systems, the influence of stakeholder groups such as the pharmaceutical industry and more.

Health Studies

Honours Bachelor of Health Studies (BHS)

Not sure if you want to focus on Health Management, Informatics or Policy in your first year? Then choose Health Studies and explore all three. In addition to taking courses in management, informatics and policy, students study the breadth and depth of health and health care through a wide variety of issues and social contexts (e.g. social status and disability, homelessness), including case studies in health care in the community. Societal factors that determine why some people stay healthy and others become ill are also examined such as income, stress, early life, social exclusion, work conditions, unemployment, social support, mental health, addiction, food and transportation.

Health Studies offers students the flexibility to attain a double major or do a minor in other Faculty of Health or York programs. The program also provides students with the prerequisites for postgraduate study in a professional program (e.g. medicine, law) or graduate school.


All students, whether in the Specialized Honours options (Management, Informatics or Policy) or the Honours Bachelor of Health Studies option, take the same core courses, including:

• Health Management I                • Health Policy: Power & Politics                      • Health Care Law
• Health Informatics I                    • Social Determinants of Health                       • Health Care Ethics

• Foundations of Health Studies

You can pursue this degree in conjunction with the Certificate in Health Informatics as well as the Health Services Financial Management Certificate.

You might be interested in other programs from the Faculty of Health or Health & Society.


Work Placement Opportunity

Students have an opportunity in 4th year to get hands on experience through a field placement in a variety of health care settings in which students are mentored and supported by fieldwork-supervisors (HLST 4990 Health Studies Practicum).

Possible Career Paths: 

  • Health Care Manager
  • Health Systems Planner
  • Quality Performance Manager
  • Information Coordinator
  • Project Manager
  • Health Policy Researcher
  • Data Analyst
  • Health Finance Manager
  • Health Information Specialist
  • Systems Designer
  • Systems Integration Specialist
  • Software Developer
  • Health Human Resources Manager
  • Health Policy Advisor/Analyst
  • Community Health Worker
  • Health Care Consultant
  • Health Writer/Communications Professional
  • Doctor*
  • Nurse*
  • Lawyer*
  • Professor*
  • Teacher*

*with further postgraduate training

Program Details

Offered by

Faculty of Health

Degrees offered


Ways to study

Full-Time, Part-Time

Fall entry


Winter entry


Summer entry



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